February and I are not the best of friends, never have, never will be. Although this month is a step closer to spring, winter is still reigning in all its glory and will certainly remind us of its freezing presence. There are barely any festive big holidays, apart from the capitalistic celebration of love that should be shown to everyone every day of the year without spending too much money on mediocre chocolates, in my humble opinion. And personally, up until now, the most horrendous and painful events occurred in this particular month. It is a shame that hibernation is no realistic option to skip it altogether.
Now what does the abbreviation FOMO have anything to do with this bitter rambling above? I’m not missing out on anything worthwhile supposedly in these 28 or 29 days.
To me, February is colored by the phenomenon of missing. Or, more accurately, tarnished. From the first to the last day, each and every one of them is somehow connected to missing. It is not solemnly about the modern fear of missing out so popular among the youngsters it became worthy of its own abbreviation. In this case I am referring to a different fear of missing. It would be better to rephrase it as a fear of missing others. Missing those who are close to the heart but not within arms reach. Or actually are physically near, but an invisible wall keeps you separated at all times. Missing someone that you can’t have with you right here, right now, not ever. Missing someone with whom you would like to share certain moments with. It all boils down to a fear of missing others and missing sharing occasions, opportunities, and even odysseys with them. Missing out on life with them, potentially risking you missing out on life in general when the heartache is too much to handle.
The fear of missing can form a determining factor in how various moments in life can be experienced. Somehow everything I do, no matter how much I am enjoying myself, this feeling of a painful incompletion always creeps up on me, especially during this time of year. The experience in itself never gets a chance to be perceived as complete on its own (which might be an illusion in general). My mind always wanders off to the absentees and removing the focus to those who actually are present can be a massive task to perform. How would it be if a specific person would be here sharing this moment with me? Yes, I did rise to the occasion physically, yet mentally and emotionally I’m in a completely different universe, therefore my physical presence has been nullified by the absence of my heart.
I cannot help but think of all the people who went through an exit door and did not return the way I wanted them to or did not return at all. A part of me always keeps a close eye on the surroundings to catch a glimpse of past’s ghosts. As if I am Hachi, the dog waiting for his human at the train station to no avail. Always hoping that there can be miracles when you believe strongly enough. But even the method of the secret is limited in its powers: not all our wishes that we send out to the entire universe can be handed on a silver platter to us. I admit, this does make us more appreciative of what we do have, yet some meals are not as tasty as they could have been when a key ingredient has been left out of the recipe.
Avoiding and suppressing the feelings and thoughts accompanying the fear of missing and missing itself is the most self sabotaging way of facing them. You know what they say: when you forbid yourself to think about pink elephants, they mercilessly pop up everywhere and refuse to slowly vanish in the brain fog. Honestly, to minimize their detriment effect on your overall well being, is by welcoming them and accepting them as they are, how cliche and New Age it may sound.
I stopped counting all the times I punish myself for having these intrusive thoughts or all my hopeless attempts to suppress them and push them deep down into a black hole. Moreover, I despise how much I let them take control of me in all aspects of life. The more I insist on fighting them, the more prominent and present they become. It especially forms a serious challenge when the factors triggering these thoughts and feelings are present in your daily comings and goings. There is nowhere to run nor hide. The tiniest detail is lurking just around the corner, waiting to attack you when you least expect it. Making it harder to find a healthy and effective way to deal properly with the high pace of a restless mind and a damaged heart.
No matter how much you invest in your job, no matter how many sedatives, narcotics, or alcohol you consume, no matter how many forms of escapism you desperately try to find in the countless distractions modern life offers. One way or another, what’s been pushed away will rise to the surface the moment sobriety kicks in or when you find yourself in an environment filled by silence and nothingness, all alone by yourself.
Why are we actually afraid of missing? Why run away for such a normal and natural feeling?
Simple. It hurts. Deeply. It hurts more than breaking all your limbs simultaneously or getting run over by a dozen trucks. Of course, I can only speak for myself, and everyone has a different pain tolerance/threshold, let alone the intensity of experiencing such pain. Personally I experience emotions quite intensely to an extent that it can numb me to my core. Sadly, physical pain is a lot easier to heal and far more accepted by society as opposed to heartache. Bandages, medication, casts: wounds visible to the eye are a real reason for suffering. Abstraction can be tough to grasp for many, especially because it is physically impossible to do so.
Fearing the missing of someone is comprehensible, yet counter effective. In the long run it will not help heal the pain (to a certain extent): it only prevents you from fully facing reality. To get to the other side of the nasty swamp of sorrow, one must swim through it. You will get filthy and won’t remain unharmed. Yet by enduring this grime of desperation and heartache, you might actually refresh your view on the changed status of who you are missing. Because they will never disappear entirely. They will always be there and remain a part of your world. By coming to terms with the changed circumstances, you can actually redecorate the rooms in your heart for them and rewrite their scripts according to their changed role in your play of life. Life may be more complete than you might think, just in a different way than you might have wished for in the first place. By fighting it, you basically deny their importance. And that might be worse than acknowledging the potential their stinging absence possesses to destroy you if you let it.
Letting go of the fear and missing someone fully serves them right. It might be the only thing you can do . Let them shine through your heartache. Let them be present in your sadness. Find salvation in what has been. There is no need to fear missing who you have loved and will keep loving, no matter how big the empty holes are in your heart. Golden memories can fill them up, making you whole in a new, unique way, including the missing.